But that number should rise, since the Texas Gulf Coast is home to almost a quarter of the country's gasoline production. The resulting impact has driven the national average for unleaded gasoline to its highest price so far this year, $2.45 per gallon.
Gas prices have increased in the past week in the Capital Region and are expected to jump even higher as we enter the Labor Day weekend.
The average gas price in Dallas on Thursday was $2.41 a gallon, with prices expected to rise, according to Gas Buddy. "We anticipate the national average to top $2.50 per gallon". Motiva's massive Port Arthur refinery, the largest in the U.S.
AAA says drivers can look forward to mid-September as prices rebalance when refineries get back online, stations make the switchover to less expensive winter blend gasoline, and seasonal demand tapers off.
"While no two natural disasters are similar, the precedent of Rita-Katrina would suggests that 10 percent of the. now offline capacity could remain unavailable for several months", Goldman said. He said supply may not be affected, but price will.
Gas prices are not only higher than this time last year, they're also higher than they've been all year.
The U.S. energy secretary has authorized the release of 500,000 barrels of crude from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve to a refinery in Lake Charles, Louisiana, according to a spokeswoman.
Analysts said that the heavy WTI discount with Brent was a result of shut in United States crude supplies due to pipeline and refinery closures. The pipeline is key to moving gasoline, jet fuel and other refined products to points along the East Coast from Florida to New Jersey.
About 19 percent of oil refining capacity on the Gulf Coast is offline.
But while heavy rains have finally moved on from most parts of Texas, investors shouldn't expect the oil market to return to normal overnight.